Confessions of a Supplement User
It's been 10 years since I've been taking supplements.
Like a caterpillar learning how to fly as a Butterfly, I took a huge leap of faith to begin my journey. To this day, I'm still not sure why, but at the time of the recession (well, a couple of years later, in truth) I realized that I had to supplement something to get that extra edge.
Maybe I was sick of being tired at work all the time (that's insomnia for you…) maybe I wanted to play football that bit more sharper. I dunno. In the end, I ended up doing a bit of research online and bought a small container of Resveratrol. I think it was my first supplement. I could be wrong, my memory isn't that good.
Wouldn't you know it… turns out it's not ideal for sport performance. Sure, it's great if you are not into sport, or off a certain age. But sport, not good. So, I bought this Resveratrol and started taking it, without realizing what the real deal was. But that was okay. I realized that by taking this little pill, it was able to somehow improve me in some way, shape, or form.
Since then, I've tried all sorts, to various degrees of success… Powders, pills, even done one or two gadgets when it comes to Increasing my fitness, but that's for another day.
Let's stick to now.
I'm writing this, I dunno, as I've felt this urge to get this story out here somehow. I see a lot of supplements being advertised. Recurring costs, promising all sorts. You've got to due your due diligence. Put simply, you're talking to a guy who is essentially a self-professed skinny git of sort.
This is a guy that has had over 20 years of insomnia erroneously believing, I may add, that it was actually quite normal to wake up three or four times during the night.
What a fool I was. (It wasn't until I did an article on sleep, irony of all ironies, that I realized what a twat I've been… there you go, feel free to laugh at me if you want…)
I just thought that this was normal. Bulk, standard, issue, way of sleeping. This is coming from a guy who used to work in a call-center, a very stressful based environment, if you're not into that type of work. And sure, there are some people who loved the job, but most people were miserable. Guess what? I was one of them.
I was in this call-center for over 15 years, which basically involves me sitting down putting on a headset and just taking crap from customers. Happy days. (In truth, there were one or two nice ones, but for the most part).
Yeah, because I really wanted to do this, didn't I, when I was a kid.. I really grew up and wanted to, you know, deal with customer complaints. That was really what I see when I dream.
I wanted to be a football superstar. You know, raking in millions a month, doing something I love. Listening to all those advertisements that you can have your dream life.
Well, wouldn't you know, that's not how life works. Newsflash.
Do you detect anger?
Good, because I'm a bit pissed off to this very day. You are also talking to someone that has this ridiculous metabolism which allows him to scoff all sorts and not gain even a centimeter of fat… apart from that one balmy Christmas in 2014. But that's for another day.
So needless to say, you're dealing with somebody who scoffs a lot of crap down, used to sit in an office, and gets stressed out. Had insomnia, still do, but I'm getting better.
And yeah, after a really bad moment in 2012, when I really thought my life was gonna go down the craphole, learned to give sport one last go.
You see I've always wanted to become a footballer. No, that's wrong, actually. As a kid, I loved running. But, fast forward to the mid 90s, and suddenly football became lucrative. And for you American cousins, you may call that soccer.
Anyway, football was the big one. Thinking, hoping, praying that I can become a footballer. Learning to do tricks at home. First touch was awful, described as that of a, ‘donkey' by one coach. But still, erroneously believing in my deluded mindset that somehow I can still make it as a footballer. How wrong I was.
The weird thing is, I hadn't reached my physical peak. So I deluded myself that it was all good, we can still do this. I can still, avoid this empty space in my Heart, using weird sort of adjectives and metaphors to describe that I was basically losing my luck on life.
Put simply, I had chosen the wrong sport, but I didn't know it back then. I was desperate to play for Man Utd… like, am I for real?
Sadly I was.
And then this magic pill (often called a supplement) comes along. You get to basically be 20 years old again. And it would only cost you $30.
Without the hard work.
It was heaven.
Image By vecstock
‘And the diagnosis is in… you will be taking pills.. good luck'
That's practically how supplements work. Like a multivitamin tablet, allows you to have all these weird benefits from almost nothing.
All you gotta do is to pay your 30 online and off you go. It was like a weird dream for me and I thought, ‘okay, well, why not? What have I got to lose? If it helps with my football, so be it'.
Fast forward to 2012. I'll never forget the year. 2012 was the turning point.
2012 was the year of the big one in sport. Fantastic music for sure. It was a weird summer, but even more weird was when I walked in. Having an unusually very short sort of late night kip. Like I said, I have insomnia, and it's a bloody b*tch to get rid of.
And I can assure you now that anybody who's had insomnia for over five years knows how difficult getting rid of it is. And this was a particularly bad morning for me.
I was even doing an early shift, eight till four. And naturally my discipline was off the wall, so I naturally went to bed late and got up early. Wasn't I being clever.
I figured I must have got around four hours of sleep, tops. So anyway, I walk in the office, I sit down, already knackered, already exhausted. Like my energy levels is already already low and then I get the calls and oh my god what a moaner.
All I remember to this day is that I know some delivery didn't take place. She thought that she had no warning, she wanted the drivers to turn around. I can't remember exactly what the complaint was, but I do know that somehow, someway, some form, it was our fault. Naturally, because the customer is always right.
Of course, the customer's always right. Um, and I remember, it was around 8:15 (haven't forgotten that, for some reason), and I remember just getting my head lower and lower and lower to the keyboard, as if to say to myself, was this it, is this what my life has come down to? Year after year after year of failed dreams, failed hope. My life was worthless.
Energy sucked out of me like some weird vortex opening up. Yes, the, ‘S' word was creeping in my mind. I thought, if this bloody cow does not get off the phone in the next five minutes, I am going to the toilet. I'm being serious. I literally felt like it was going to happen.
This was the last day.
Why not? Once you get that low in energy levels, and I mean that seriously low in energy levels, Why not? And for about five minutes, I was tempted. She just kept going on and on and on, on the phone.
You know what? I don't even remember what she was saying to this very day. This is a long time ago. This is back in 2012.
So here I was, sitting down, and thinking to myself, you know what, what is the point in life?
So, my head is literally on the verge of collapsing onto this keyboard. It's around 8:20 in the morning. I'm shattered. Energy low. And I think to myself, I am the biggest loser in life. And bear in mind, there's no support there for you. Yeah, I didn't cry, I didn't, you know, get angry, I was just dejected.
Like, seriously, my soul was saying to me, Okay, dude, you f*cked up big time. You have two options. One involves the toilet room. The second involves complete change of plans. And then I got angry. I don't know what it was, I don't know what triggered it. The call, the customer went away, I did a few notes. I sent a few things, like you do if you're in a customer service job.
But I just remember being so angry with myself. I thought, how bad have I got to lower myself to this level? Why am I so obsessed with a sport which I'm not very good at?
Why, why, why, why, why?
And then it dawned on me…
I'd been going for the wrong sport. I said to my mind… What can I be good at? And immediately my mind had an image.
Image By vecstock
‘You may be lucky yet… miracles can happen…'
This image changed my life.
It was a gold medal around my neck. (Yeah… another sport…urgh…)
For some reason, I thought I should be focusing on doing badminton.
I've always loved racket sports. I prefer tennis, but I knew I was okay at badminton.
So what do I do? I get absolutely angry with myself and vouch to start traveling across the town where I live to see if there was a leisure center, to see if I can basically join a badminton club.
That was my very narrow, parochial view of thinking about this.
And then, of course, you go online and you realize there were… shall we say, ways of increasing your mood, increasing your well being. All you gotta do is…
Take a friggen pill.
And that was how my love of supplements grew.
And I took all sorts, really, because why would I want to feel that bad again?
Why would I want to feel that lethargic, de-energized, hopeless, compressed, depressed, like fog feeling again.
And anybody who's had depression will tell you that is what it is. It's pure, thick fog.
So yeah, my love of supplements grew, and I've taken all sorts. powders, pills…
Anyway, fast forward two years, and I've joined this badminton club. I'm taking a few supplements here and there. Feeling good.
But something was missing…
Something just did not click. I'm thinking I'm not really making that much progress. And unless you've got a training partner, you can't really do a racket sport on your own. And that was it. Then the Commonwealth Games turned up, and it was in Glasgow.
And I remember when I saw the great man himself do a sprint. The 100 metres. And I remember seeing him having fun, vibing with the stadium, vibing with the crowd. And I said to myself, I would love to do that. And it dawned on me.
The penny finally drops.
OMG, it's Sprinting, i. e. track and field.
‘Hope you like a set of pins… guz you're gonna need them…'
Now, yes, track and field, they say, has issues with steroids. But supplements and steroids are two very different things.
And I morally justified that if I was going to go down this road, give sport one last chance, guess what, I would need to really own it on the supplements front.
Because I don't want to get accused of taking steroids. And I don't want to, jeopardize a late career if ever there was one. So I've learned all there is to know about, at least a good chunk of what it takes to do well at sprinting.
Usually, but not exclusively, about your limiting factors. But this story isn't about my pathetic attempts, albeit at times half-realistic, of going to the Olympics in 2024.
No. This story is about my use of using supplements to try and boost, not only mental focus, but also mood and athletic performance.
Because here's the thing, the good thing about supplements is that it will not judge.
Taking Supplements, is kinda like advertising.
You can be black or white. Makes no difference.
You can be tall or short. Makes no difference.
You can be butt ugly, or you can be the most gorgeous angel in the whole wide world.
Guess what, makes no difference.
Any age, you could be, short of 15, you can be 85, makes no a difference.
Supplements will not judge.
It's like the ultimate pill. Yes, of course, do your research. Yes, some are more effective than others. Yes, watch out for the side effects, of course. But supplements, it's like advertising.
It knows no discrimination, no creed.
It will literally give you what it says on the tin, providing you look at the reviews. And that's what I love about supplements. Not all supplements are equal, sure, but for the most part, they're bloody good.
And that's what got me really into them. Ultimately, I came across a few which were really the peak, like, the real crème de la crème, the real top ones (alright, slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.)
But that's my opinion. Bear in mind, I've got quite a fast metabolism. Maybe that's why they're so good. Somebody else, I dunno, not so much. But one thing I didn't want to do is to feel like a loser again. One thing I didn't want to do is to have my head shoved metaphorically down into a big patch of crap.
Not able to hear anything, unable to move. That is what learned helplessness feels like. You literally got your head shoved right in the soil, unable to move. You think you're moving, but you're not.
So yeah, as you can tell, I'm a huge fan of supplements. And I think that, for some people they're missing out.
For a quick example, I recently got involved in the weight loss industry. I don't need to lose weight myself, and like I said, I'm a self-professed skinny git. But it's amazing how well the supplement industry does with the weight-loss demographic.
I'm being serious, you know, there's so many pills out there and yeah, some of you will say yeah but they're just all fashion fads and they don't last very long and they're all scams scams and more scams.
Believe it or not, I will tell you now that there is at least one or two that are f*cking brilliant. So to say that they're all scams is quite frankly inaccurate and also unfair. I could tell you some of them right now.
If they involve Glucomannan, it should be pretty good. But if you really want to lose weight, if that is the goal… unprocessed foods is where it's really at.
Calorie restriction is the answer, but only for your stomach. Not you. I don't believe that CICO is for you, but for your stomach. Having unprocessed foods, and taking up some form of activity ensures long term weight-loss success.
This is not really a weight-loss story by the way, but for those of you who want to have a quick bit of help here, weight-loss involves usually two things for most of you. Unprocessed foods and doing a form of vigorous exercise of some description, for a short time.
How do I know? Because I can scoff crap and not gain weight myself. And what do I do? I have you know I don't have that much help with regards to healthy food, but I do do vigorous exercise as I'm still training for the Olympics.
Anyway, at the risk of boring your ass to death, I'll say one thing now.
Don't knock supplements, but always do your research.
Because the success of the supplement is not down to me, and in a really weird way, it's not even down to you.
Image By freepik
‘yes… you can relax now… we have you covered'
You can do your research, but that's still not going to be good enough.
It's down to your body.
Like I said, everyone's body is different and some are better than others. And that is what it's all ultimately down to, doing your research and making sure that you're not screwing around.
So, with that weird disclaimer, of sorts, and with the knowledge that taking supplements I've found with a small fruit first thing in the morning is my weird, ‘hack', here is my top three, which I believe are the most bang for your buck.
And before I forget, I do get paid commission should you purchase through these links (although I will provide the non-affiliate link as well for fairness and because I'm a little, kinda weird).
Not a bad tasting pill, that fizzes in your cup (just don't sniff the fizz…trust me on this one…).
I remember when I first took Beroccas…
Saw the ads (you know, the one with the two man dancing on the log on the water…) and thought, ‘why not?'.
One of the best decisions of my life…
(For the non-affiliate link, click here)
Having said that, if you look at the back, a crap load of nutrition, squeezed into a fizzy tablet. Can your body deal with all of that? Honest answer, I'm not sure, but firstly, it does taste good, and secondly, it does work work.
I took a Beroccas tablet when I was sitting down in that call-center, half knackered. Within 15 minutes, my brain kicked in. within the hour, I was slightly hyper (it can give you far too much energy, but that could be my natural, mild ADHD kicking in, so who knows 😉
Cut a long story short, Beroccas is great, and whilst the nutrition is pretty much off the charts, they are natural ingredients, with no artificial sweeteners. And that's a good thing.
Having said that…
I remember taking one years ago, and a work colleague joked, ‘Careful with that, can mess with your liver…' Didn't know what he meant. When to the loo a few hours later, and lo and behold, my Urine is a weird purply colour. So, as good as Beroccas is, don't overdo it. I'm thinking 1 tablet every few days. And if you're an amateur athlete (like I am), maybe once a week, first thing in the morning.
Still, for it's price, it's damn good. And it's a supplement which is very reliable over the decade I've been using it.
Having said that, this can give you almost too much energy in a little time, but there is supplement which has you covered on that one, is more gradual, and some would say is more better than taking Beroccas…